Consultation Guide on Commissioning Policies: Funding of Treatment outside of Clinical Commissioning Policy or Mandated NICE Guidance - A. In-year service development, B. Individual Funding Requests, C. Funding for experimental and unproven treatments, D. Continuing funding after clinical trials

Closed 15 Jan 2017

Opened 13 Oct 2016

Results updated 17 Nov 2017

In October 2016 NHS England launched a 12-week public consultation on a set of four commissioning policies. These so-called ‘generic’ commissioning policies set out NHS England’s position on funding treatments which are not currently routinely commissioned or are not subject to a mandated guidance from NICE.

The four policies consulted on were:

  • In-year service development – decisions on new commissioning policy for a treatment that takes place outside of the annual commissioning prioritisation process. The policy set out in this document applies only to specialised services.
  • Individual Funding Requests (IFRs) – applications by clinicians on behalf of their patients, relating to funding for treatment for an individual patient that is not routinely commissioned by NHS England for that patient. Funding for all prescribed services may be considered through this process.
  • Funding for experimental and unproven treatments – funding experimental or unproven treatments outside a clinical trial and continuing funding following such a trial of a treatment, which should have been previously agreed.
  • Continuing funding after registered clinical trials – continuing funding after a clinical trial, whether NHS England funded, commercially-funded or non-commercially funded.

The consultation sought views on the content of the four policies, as well as whether they were sufficiently clear and effective in supporting commissioning decisions.  It also sets out NHS England’s intention to streamline the number of commissioning policies to reduce duplication and provide greater clarity.

This document provides a summary of the key themes identified in the consultation responses and identifies how responses have shaped the new policies. The new policies are available to download from the NHS England website.



When first established, NHS England published a set of a set of so-called 'generic policies' to guide its decision-making for all directly commissioned services. They were called 'generic policies' as they applied to all NHS England's commissioning responsibility, rather than being service-specific. Over the last three years, most of these policies have been covered in other existing comprehensive policy documents.

Four areas still require stand-alone policies, and they are the focus of this consultation.

The four areas are: in-year service developments, individual funding requests (IFR), funding for experimental and unproven treatments, and continuing funding after clinical trials.

We welcome views from stakeholders, the public and patients on this revised set of four distinct policies.


  • Advocacy or support organisations
  • Patients


  • Specialised commissioning
  • Public